Sunday, January 21, 2007

Same Shit Different Year

So now that the new year is upon me I have picked back up doing overtime in the ER. As the cop has mentioned, the wedding is "4 months and change" away. How do people do those big elaborate affairs? I just don't know.

So I got to spend some quality time with my real peeps in the ER all last weekend (yes I am behind in catching up). I was back in Green last Saturday with one of the worst crews I could imagine. There are people who will bust their ass and help you and those who will stick to their 4 (or so) patients while you drown. We were busy as shit, there was no way around it, and the beating continued all night long. I walked in to a quadriplegic who fell out of her wheelchair (don't know why), broke her leg and was intubated and completely unresponsive. Did I mention she had a blood pressure of 70 and a highly, HIGHLY anxious family. I got to fight a hypoxic (low oxygen) mentally retarded gentleman who was built like a linebacker and we had no idea what was up with him either. He was much more fun when he too, was intubated. I have mentioned that I'm about 5 feet tall..... pretty strong, but not a big girl by any means. My charge nurse had about 300lbs on me, saw me fighting to keep this guy in the bed and said..."call me if you need anything." What the FUCK?!?!?!!?

Trauma was busy that night too.... the cracked one.... GSW to the chest that went INTO the left ventricle. Essentially lights out immediately.... I don't even know how he made it to the hospital at all. There was also a guy who was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher and left in the stairwell of an apartment building. Lots and lots of accidents.... at one point all 6 helicopters that serve our area were up to one scene or another. This is when I was called into the trauma room as backup. Fun times as usual.

Oh and must mention my Darwin Award Honorable Mention. A 54 year old guy falls off of a ladder and breaks some ribs. He is admitted to the hospital and stays a couple of days. Develops bronchitis while in the hospital. When the floor discharged him he was given prescriptions for 1. Pain Meds 2. Antibiotics and 3. Cough Syrup. He goes to our pharmacy to have his meds filled, gives them his 3 prescriptions, waits 'til his number is called and then picks up Bag O' Meds (about 16) from the pharmacist. (ok, I must interject.... I give them 3 they give me 16.... something is not adding up here) Our nominee thinks not much of it since all the bottles have his name on them and happily goes home. He takes the nighttime dose of ALL these meds.... which include several for high blood pressure, diabetes, a very strong laxative and a couple of psychiatric meds and then (SURPRISE) begins to feel sick.

He comes to the ER with his BITCH of a sister and tells us what he's done. The administration gets involved (because it is a HUGE error and liability). Turns out there was a 75 year old gentleman with the same name but different medical record number who was have his scripts filled as well and our hero got those (and took them) by mistake.

The sister was under the impression that we (the ER) or I (yes ME) was going to pay them back for the meds and the hospital stay. She actually demanded that the administrator write her a check on the spot. When I finally discharged our friend with his 3 prescriptions she threatened me and I had to call the campus police to physically remove her from the ER! The cop knows her and where she lives..... just in case she comes back to visit!

So its supposed to snow here today. I think the news said a "Wintery Mix." Sounds like an excuse to turn the fire up, make spiked hot chocolate and chill with the cop today. We are working our was through Season 3 of 'Sex and the City.' It took a while, but I think he's hooked now!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Buying a Job?

Forgive me as I rant, but I've been thinking. I have wanted to get a flight job for as long as I have been a nurse. Realistically, I know that you must have a certain number of years experience in (ideally) several fields of nursing (in my case, ER and ICU). Above and beyond that should be icing on the cake. Well, its not. To even get an interview these days you have to have an alphabet soup behind your name. The job implies that you need your RN but does not specify more than that.

I have spent time trying to gather the additional "letters" to follow my name and this is what I've found. It is expensive as SHIT! I am currently waiting to take my CEN exam (CEN= Certified Emergency Nurse) a cake cert for anyone who has Level 1 ER experience as I do. The downfall? These fucking three letters cost $316.00! This is for a cert that lasts 4 years. Next I need to take CCRN (Critical Care RN) and you guessed it... another $300.00 for that test. So you figure, those 2 certs, PALS (pedes advanced life support) PALS instructor (most flight programs want that), ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) and ACLS instructor, NRP (neonatal resuscitation program.... saving newborns and preemies) and god help if I choose to take paramedic or CCEMTP (critical care emergency medical transport) which costs $1,300 and is usually held in Baltimore.

What upsets me is that if I want a flight job, it appears that I am going to have to "buy" one. In order to be competitive you have to have these certifications and, obviously, they don't come cheap. I just found that concept very disheartening. So as if I didn't work all the time already.... looks like I'm going to need more overtime!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's

Happy New Year's everyone!

I have never had to work a New Year's. I have always stepped up and worked Christmas for the people who had kids and, in return, have always been off New Year's. So, this year I was all geared up for a night at work. The cop had to go in early as this night is always the worst for the police department. When I got to work there were 11 patients and 9 of us scheduled.... not bad. The charge nurse approached me at 9pm and asked if I wanted to go home. Ummm..... do you even need to ask that question?!?! So I tied up my loose ends to leave at 11. The cop and I had driven in together, so he and his partner met me outside in the police car to drive me back to the precinct where the car was.

Unfortunately for me, right before I hopped in, there was confirmed AK-47 fire in the city. So I got a very fast ride to the precinct where I got a New Year's kiss and watched him peel out with lights and siren blaring. As I got in my car I heard POP-POP-POP-POP-POP-POP, followed a few seconds later (from the opposite direction) by POP-POP-POP-POP-POP. Yes, the dear citizens have decided to shoot their guns in the air and (I find later) into cars, homes and anything else they felt like. I was scared shitless and wanted to get out. One of the marked units saw me driving down the street on the way out and followed closely until I hit the interstate. Being a cops S.O. has its perks and an escort out of the city on New Year's is definitely one of them.

I made it home just in time to ring in the new year with Maddux by the fireplace. I love my Mad-dog and he has been one of the most consistent things in my life over the past 7 1/2 years. I tried to take him outside right after midnight, but we heard so many fireworks and gunfire (yes, in the county too) that he refused to go out. Pussy. The cop reminded me that I'd better not go upstairs until about 2am.... what goes up must come down and we don't want to be near the roof when it does. You know, there's some stuff I just don't want to know!

So please have a happy and safe new year all. I am still working on the resolution thing.... my favorite has always been to take better care of myself and to make a point to splurge once a month on something for me. That's always a good one to keep!